No, the Seattle Seahawks will not be making a postseason appearance this year, but that won’t stop us from making some picks, right?? DraftKings Sportsbook is here with some more lines for us to pour over, so let’s take a look at that Wild Card round.
Wild Card Weekend
On bye: San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens
The Browns are favored by a safety according to DraftKings Sportsbook, despite being the road team against an upstart Texans squad led by C.J. Stroud. Pardon my incredulity, but I have a difficult time envisioning Joe Flacco leading a team — even one with a defense as good as Cleveland’s — to a playoff victory on the road. Sorry, Joe.
The pick: Under 44.5 points, Texans cover the spread and win
Wowie, this should be fun. Since starting the season 5-1, the Dolphins finished 6-5 over their remaining eleven games, leading to an 11-6 record on the season. The Chiefs also finished 11-6, and very similarly started the year off hot; they opened with a 6-1 record before a 5-5 finish resulted in them first in the AFC West but third overall in conference seeding. The Dolphins lost 21-14 the last time these teams met — earlier this season in Germany. The prediction is only for a 4.5-point spread in favor of the Chiefs, but I think we are about to witness a repeat performance.
The pick: Under 44 points, Chiefs win straight up and cover the spread.
DraftKings Sportsbook is predicting a low-scoring affair in this one, which seems pretty ridiculous considering that of the eight playoff games that Josh Allen has played in, only one would have hit the under — a 17-3 victory over the Ravens in 2020. To be fair, though, they are expecting the Bills to do most of the scoring in this one, as they are listed as nearly 10-point favorites at home. I think they win... and I think they can do so handily. But 10 points is maybe a little too generous.
The pick: Over 35.5 points, Bills win but the Steelers cover
Here we go! A game in Dallas should provide decent conditions for at least one of these teams to come out and throw the ball all over the yard. Except these are two of the better scoring defenses in the league. While I think that the Packers are certainly better than I expected given their circumstances, I think the Cowboys can control this one and carry their momentum into the Divisional Round. They are the clear favorites in this one, with DraftKings Sportsbook giving them a 7-point margin to cover at home. Can they do it? Yes, they can.
The pick: Under 50.5 points, Cowboys win and cover
(6) LA Ram @ (3) Detroit Lions — 5:15pm — NBC — O/U 51.5
As if the previous game wasn’t enough, here is yet another to feature some expected offense. In this one, I actually think we will see a fair amount of scoring. Both of these teams had a top-10 scoring offense and a below-average scoring defense in the regular season, according to ESPN. I would love to see Jared Goff go off against his former team, even if they are only expected to win by a field goal — which should be an easy enough margin for them to cover.
The pick: Over 51.5 points, Lions win and cover the spread
Does anybody know where to find the Eagles? Because they have been missing since early December. In their stead is a team that finished the year 1-5 after starting 10-1. The Buccaneers, somewhat ironically, finished 5-1 after starting 4-7. Talk about opposite trajectories. Regardless, I have a hard time believing this team is ready to roll over and admit defeat. Instead, I think they will look more like the Seahawks of the mid-2010s, where they will be able to pick up at least one playoff victory before turning into the proverbial playoff pumpkin. They are only favored by a field goal, and while I do expect this game to stay tighter than expected, I also don’t expect it to stay that close.
The pick: Under 44 points, Eagles win and cover the spread